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The Orioles have made Mark Trumbo their best offer

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There’s been quite a bit of back and forth between Mark Trumbo and the Orioles this month, and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports that the team’s best offer is on the table. Previous reports indicate that it’s the same four-year, $52-55 million deal the Orioles tried to push several weeks ago, which fell short of the $75-80 million Trumbo’s team was said to be seeking.

Trumbo doesn’t appear to have made his final decision just yet, but it’s not for lack of interest. The veteran slugger batted a cool .256/.316/.533 during 2016, contributing a league- and career-best 47 home runs in his first season with Baltimore. The Mariners, Rockies and Indians are among those reportedly in talks with the 30-year-old, though no competing offers have been publicized so far this offseason.

The Orioles have options, too, and Kubatko suggests that the club could make an effort to re-sign Pedro Alvarez or stash Trey Mancini in the DH spot if they can’t reach an agreement with Trumbo. According to a quote from Alvarez’s agent, Scott Boras, the 29-year-old is using the offseason to expand his “defensive resume,” with the intention of sharpening his skills at first base and in the outfield as he tries to net a contract before the 2017 season begins. He split his time between DH and third base with the Orioles in 2016, producing a .249/.322/.504 line and 22 homers in 376 PA.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.